News from ELITE Kerala
For the past three months a tussle between lawyers and journalists is going on in Kerala. It started with the groping by a government pleader who practices in the High Court of Kerala in Kochi (Ernakulam) in July 2016. When the woman raised alarm locals caught the running lawyer and handed him over to the police. The public were very supportive to the woman. Next day the news was given wide coverage in the media. Kerala was on the boil on atrocities to woman as a young law student was raped and killed in the same district in April this year. There was a report that the locals were stunned to see the police saluting the advocate caught red handed.
From the next day itself the lawyers in courts all over Kerala including the High Court attacked the media persons. In some cases the attack was so violent that the areas around the courts were cordoned off. The lawyers were handled with kid gloves by the government and the courts itself. The then acting Chief Justice, a well revered judge, opined that it would be better if the media abstained from courts for some time. The present Chief Justice has also not shown any serious effort to solve the issue. When the journalist tried to file a case in the HC no lawyer would take the case. Now they have approached the SC where proceedings have started.
The Chief Minister too was not serious in solving the issue. Most of the law students are from SFI a feeder organisation of the Left Front government. Now fed up with the issue he has said that courts are not the private property of lawyers. As long as the matter is not seen seriously by the government or the judiciary reporting on court cases will suffer. Now media have to collect news from the open courts. The media rooms have been closed. IPI (International Press Institute) have twice appealed to the authorities to solve the issue, in vain.